Springtime as Judith
In spring apology blooms a
painted nipple / say, no matter
the shirt there will be a focal
point / art history has taught
me to focus an eye to denote
importance / say you do not
see the nipple except in the
paintings of supplicant women
and so / in the gallery no one
expects the nipples to be roses
as they blossom from the
beheading of Holofernes / red
for roses / for blood / for
violence / a body is a sharp
thing / at springtime a nipple
births itself beneath a layered
body / say focal point / guide
the eyes / a man staring at the
peony’s only to see the poison
/ yes the man is always
Holofernes / yes Judith was
trans / too and oh how our
nipples puff the same way
On the first day of spring a man who I called babydoll at work refuses to consider my presence tangible / passes through me a barn door / winter-wind / insulation leak / a child ripping the flowers out the ground with their mouth / in the painting Judith /recoils her face from the blood / is wearing white / wet t-shirt contest / mouth closed and Holofernes lies / open maw / tongue out / trying even in death to bare fangs
Angel Olsen Says Every Artist Should Title A Piece unfucktheworld
And in the news story a deer is seen
with their mouth around a human carcass
and who set up cameras around a dying body
only to film the deer instead, but in the same week
a new service emerges that will mail your ashes
to a congress person after you die.
The joke is, you will not outlive an old politician,
one who will wear your humanity in their mouth,
and in this way they are all humans in deer fur.
They crowd around my body and gnaw the skin
away, as the world watches and conjures write up.
There is a deer with bones in their mouth—even they know
that the marrow is the delicacy—and the joke is everyone
is preoccupied that a politician is on all fours using
a demitasse spoon to funnel the marrow down their throat
and maybe that is what healthcare is supposed to be.
Living long enough to be consumed.
Caring for another’s health so much that you own them.
There is a news article about Chechnya again and the
ways that the rounded up queer youth are condemned
to death by their parents, how there is no care for their health
now that their health is against their government.
And is that what it means to be queer? To be human and queer
is to be found in a forest, eaten by animals on all fours.
And I say I enjoy my job because they give me insurance and
the seventy hour pay checks seem more compassionate
in that way. The more I live the less likely
I will be able to control when or why I have died, and
it’s May Day and I am working again, thinking of Louis Lingg
and how the night before his execution he committed suicide.
The anarchist slid a blasting cap into prison and detonated it
in his mouth and I wonder what would I feel if in Chechnya
and condemned to death? There are reports that families
are contacted to execute their queer children but we keep
deleting our family members from facebook, so who would bring
the bullets to send me into a forest for deer to consume my bones?
Or maybe that is healthcare? Like Lingg I will die in agony regardless
of the paths in which my life takes, and so why not go to the politicians
as they stand in a circle, in the forest, and light an explosive in my mouth.
Only half of Lingg’s face was detonated, and he lived for six hours more,
so I imagine I would too, before my bones become a consumable thing,
and want to imagine Louis Lingg was able to cry
from his remaining tear duct.
Wonder if the politicians would call my family,
weeping, for they were unable to find my body
living enough to murder it
and what a shame that is, what a shame.
Alain Ginsberg (they/them) is an agender writer from Baltimore City, MD. They are a barista, a taurus, and author of the chapbooks “Until The Cows Come Home” (Elation Press, 2016) and “Loathe/Love/Lathe” (Nostrovia! Press, 2017).